President Diaz-Canel Visits Tenement Where Celia Cruz was Born…

…but doesn’t mention the Queen of Salsa

The official media described Tamarindo as one of the 62 “most complex” neighborhoods in the capital. (Screenshot)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – Miguel Díaz-Canel closed his tour of the Popular Council of Tamarindo on Friday, in the Havana district of Santo Suárez, with a visit to the Las Margaritas site. The tenement in the municipality of Diez de Octubre is very popular because it is the place where the Cuban singer Celia Cruz was born in 1925 and where her sisters later lived.

The name of the Queen of Salsa did not come to light in any of the president’s statements, which later made headlines in the official media. Despite the great success of Celia Cruz and her status as a favorite among Cubans when it comes to dancing, her name and her voice were banned for decades in the national media and it was not until 2012 that she could be heard on the radio.

Under a strong security operation and surrounded by bodyguards, the president toured the streets where the hurried repair of sidewalks, facades and the park that bears the name of the neighborhood was notable.

In an attempt to appease the rebellion unleashed on July 11, Díaz-Canel has visited some of the neighborhoods where there were the strongest clashes between protesters and the forces of order, such as La Güinera, Los Sitio and San Isidro.

A few blocks from the place chosen for this Friday’s visit, exactly on the corner of Toyo, one of the most tense moments of the protests took place. The photographs and videos of uniformed men beating young people who tried to join the demonstration, as well as the reaction of these who overturned and stoned some patrol cars, went viral on social networks.

In a report broadcast on the noon newscast, they described Tamarindo as one of the 62 “most complex” neighborhoods in the capital with a population of 34,000.

“We are making a tour of the Popular Council to assess all the actions that you know are being done in the neighborhoods,” the president told several residents.

Last July 16 marked the 18th anniversary of the death of Celia Cruz, known as La Guarachera de Cuba, one of the most popular and important artists of the 20th century in the American continent and an icon of Latin music within the United States.

A day after her death, Granma published a brief note in which it noted that the singer popularized Cuban music in the United States and was “used as an icon by the counterrevolutionary enclave in South Florida” because Cruz was active for decades “in the campaigns against the Cuban Revolution.”

During her fifty-five-year career, the singer of Guantanamera , La negra has tumbao, JPor si acaso no regreso, and La vida es un carnaval, accumulated innumerable awards and recognitions that have not stopped after her death, such as several Grammys, a stamp honoring her from the US Postal Service, and her election as the first Latina on the Walk of Fame at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem (New York).

The sadness of not being able to return to Cuba, after going on a tour of Mexico in 1960 accompanying the band Sonora Matancera, saddened her until her death. She could not return even when her mother died. In 1990 she sang at the Guantánamo naval base and from there she took a handful of earth, which she asked to be deposited in her coffin.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

One thought on “President Diaz-Canel Visits Tenement Where Celia Cruz was Born…

  • The retribution taken against Señora Cruz by Fidel was cruel and ultimately increased her voice against the dictatorship. Like so many measures taken by the regime, the plan backfired. Those Americans who became fans of “Azúcar!”, did so, in part because is was well-known that she was an exiled singer. The current president would do well to learn from this idiotic mistake.

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